How Are We Training in 2017 and What Are We Still Struggling With?

The Relias 2017 State of Staff Development and Training – A National Perspective for Healthcare Report


This is the third of a four-part blog post series on the 2017 State of Staff Development & Training study.
The blog posts are being published consecutively on the first four Wednesdays of October.

Welcome to the third installment of the Relias State of Staff Development and Training Report! In case you stumbled upon this “out of phase”, Relias provides a comprehensive state of training report every two years. This blog post series breaks down a few of the most salient questions at a time. If you’d like to view the webinar or download the whole honkin’ report, be my guest.

Today’s questions revolve around how we are training, and if that is changing at all, and the things with which we perennially struggle. Some things old are new again, and that’s certainly the case here.

How Are We Training?

Our first question looks to see how much online training is out there, and who is doing it.

The results are about par on course for what you would think, with payers and insurers leading the way in online usage.

Another way to read this is that there is still a great deal of instructor led training going on, especially in the last 2 categories.

Blended learning is a best practice. In blended learning, you combine online learning with instructor led sessions where appropriate, so instructor led training should never be going away in your training plans.

However, it is one of the most expensive training modalities you have at your disposal, so make sure you are thinking smart when you are employing it.

In our past blog post, we covered the lack of visibility in organizations regarding their total educational spend, and instructor led teaching is one of those areas where your money may be going to die. So use it wisely and QUANTIFY WHAT YOUR ARE SPENDING THERE.

One alternative to all instructor led teaching is the concept of the flipped classroom. In this model, most of the “meat” of the instruction is provided digitally with a shorter or more intensive – depending on what you are trying to solve – instructor led session that concentrates more on practical application of the learning. This also helps with application on the floor after training, as learners have more time to digest the information and applying the information can be the focus of the instructor led session.

For those of you who might be hesitant to move away from instructor led because it’s familiar, you need to quantify what your instructor led spend is to really see what it’s costing you. If you are teaching people to provide feedback and they need to practice on other humans, by all means, instructor led is a great way to go. And it’s absolutely worth the money. But if you are taking “Fire Safety” for the umpteenth time, not so much. See the difference?

I worked with a company that was spending roughly 3 million dollars a year in instructor led training costs – simply because it had “always been done that way” and no one had ever bothered to quantify it. So again, use instructor led as much as you need, just be smart about it.

And one last thing, many organizations keep their ILT records separate from their digital training records, which can be a nightmare at a survey or audit to combine a real training picture. It is also labor intensive and prone to error or lost paper or spreadsheets. If you do have an LMS installed – ours or any other – please make sure all your training records are housed in one place.


What Are We Still Struggling With?

Our last question for this blog concerns what respondents felt were internal or practical challenges. You can see the results here.

Time and funding resonate with me as I speak with groups around the country. Staff shortages are a direct result of the turnover we are all struggling with.

(BTW – If you are interested in a webinar on turnover or change management, please visit our site. There are resources there that can help you look at turnover from a cultural as well as a learning lens.)

But I digress…back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Lack of management support also makes the top 7. These are all as old as time, right?

We have got to rethink our education strategy. If we keep doing what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always got, right? And the clock is running out. Value based reimbursement is here. We can’t afford to do what we’ve always done. So….

Invest your time in things that will make a change – for the better. Really look at your education spend, and where you’re spending it. Work on aligning your management team with your training teams so everyone is marching toward organizational goals. And put methods into place so that your actual field outcomes match where your organizations need to go.

Tick…tock, everybody!

Jan Wilson

Director of Learning Design and Outcomes, Relias

Director of Learning Designs and Outcomes at Relias, Jan brings over 25 years of technology, human resources and learning expertise to the Relias team. Her experience in senior care spans more than a decade, including serving as a senior executive of learning strategy with one of the country's largest providers. As an organizational development consultant, she has provided strategic planning, process alignment, curriculum development and planning, and learning solutions to a variety of clients in pharma, healthcare and state governments.

Connect with Us

to find out more about our training and resources